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The HomePod has landed

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by uofmtiger, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. jmplautz

    jmplautz New Member

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    23
    I will preface this with, I have not listened to the HomePod, yet.

    Question. I've seen the occasional individual making the statement about this beating their X thousand dollar amount of speakers. Are these people full of it and have a home theater system that they listen to music through that is barely setup? Or, is this the direction that sound reproduction is heading?

    I've met several people who prefer the Beats Pill over a good stereo and laugh at people who still have one. I have heard a Beats Pill and will not give up my stereo for one any time soon. I just wonder sometimes what I'm missing.
     

     

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  2. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    18,146
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    I don’t think anyone here is stating that a HomePod or any other smart speaker will replace a good stereo system. I still have a pair of QUAD ESL-63s, and a pair of AR91s, but also Sonos Play:1s and Ones through the House.

    The QUADs simply won’t fit in the kitchen, my tiny home office, the bathroom, or the bedrooms. The tiny Sonos (or HomePod) speakers do fit all those places, and sound pretty darn good in the bargain. The pair in my home office sit right on top of a pair of professional Studio Monitors for near field listening. They sound every bit as good, and are far more convenient to use. They won’t fill a large room as well as the QUADs, but that isn’t their purpose. Unlike the GearSlutz forum silliness, they’ve been measured as flat as a pancake from 70Hz on up. Like the HomePod, they spent many hours in a large, expensive anechoic chamber during their design, by highly knowledgeable acoustics engineers.

    The HomePod isn’t meant even remotely to compete with studio monitors. It’s meant to provide a very good representation of music in a tiny footprint, with no wires running all over the place, in any room, with the ultimate convenience of voice control, automatic room compensation, and utterly simple configuration.

    The Echo disrupted the market. The HomePod refines it, with great sound, great unobtrusive looks, within the limits of the Apple universe, which millions are fully comfortable residing in.
     
    ldatlof and uofmtiger like this.
  3. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    4,859
    Location:
    Memphis
    I agree with gearsluts on that one. It is an Apple ecosystem device. DUH!!!! You have to have an iOS device to even set it up.

    What are the sales figures on it? What was Apple expecting to sell? Don't believe every click-bait article you read. Until they can tell you Apple's expectations, the articles are saying nothing.

    Personally, I don't think Apple will ever break out the sales on this, just like the watch, so we will never know (short of analysts estimates) how many they are selling. Amazon doesn't break theirs out either, so comparisons are going to be difficult. I expect Apple will make more profits on the device and Amazon will dominate market share. That happens when you sell discounted $50 Dots. I have a few, so I am aware of their utility at that price point.

    Well said! Exactly my sentiments on this. I am not throwing out my main system. No one is going to do that.
     
    ldatlof likes this.
  4. jmplautz

    jmplautz New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Yeah, I was a bit terse in the way I asked the question. I have read a couple of reviews elsewhere with the reviewers stating that they were willing to give up their expensive systems for one of these.

    And I saw one of your responses here and you called it (paraphrasing here) the best kitchen radio on there market, or something along those lines (and if that wasn't you I apologize). Which is certainly high praise. But, not close to someone willing to give up their big system for one of these.

    Which leads me to getting to where I think I was trying to steer the conversation. What is the level of system where these (I mean these types of devices in general) start to make a more "traditional" system obsolete? With the work that's being done with some of these small class D amplifier boards that are of good quality, some of the designs for equipment is downright outstanding (size and quality). It feels like we're getting to a tip of the iceberg moment where we start to see the traditional big boxes going away for much smaller boxes(Or, no boxes at all). A convergence of quality, price and design. We no longer have to pick two.
     
  5. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,146
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Well, the ultimate expression of a Class D multi-amp driven, DSP corrected speaker is probably the Kii Three. Supposed to sound fantastic. $11K/pr is probably a bit more than 99.9% are willing to pay, but the tech will trickle down into the more affordable range, maybe already has. The good thing is that the power and DSP tech is now cheap enough to wind up in inexpensive consumer devices like the HomePod.
     
  6. jmplautz

    jmplautz New Member

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    23
    It also takes a company with pockets deep enough take a technology and create the ability to mass produce it at a cost that is cheap enough so that more people than just the wealthy can afford it. Look at where Bluetooth speakers started and look at what exists now. Give another 5-10 years and the results will be impressive.
     

     

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  7. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    For just a "traditional" two channel music system, I think the number of options are growing. I think we are a long way off from replacing HT systems with something like this, though.
     
  8. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

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    Location:
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    Let's not forget that the Echo/Google Home were conceived and designed as "virtual assistants" that happen to have a speaker built in - so that it can talk to you. Google sells inexpensive hardware and revenue comes from collecting and selling data.

    HomePod (which has been in development for 8-10 years) was conceived as a (relatively) hi-fi speaker that happens to have SOME/limited Siri functionality built in. Apple is very transparent about minimal amount of data it collects and how it uses it to the point where the "App would like access to your data" notifications can get annoying. Siri can be very limited due to this. Their revenue comes from selling expensive hardware.

    HomePod will not replace a hi-fi system. You're not going to sit in front of HomePod and listen critically to - anything. HomePod is a "music everywhere" speaker. A good comparison would be HomePod with its computational audio system vs. Bose Wave System with its waveguide technology.
     
  9. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    4,859
    Location:
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    I mainly use the HomePod for music, alarms, homekit, and weather. The mics on it make it a better option than the Dot when they will both do something and I have to choose.

    I still like having Dots around for adding to my shopping lists and for sending them Bluetooth audio (bath, office, etc). There is room in the market for both approaches. I doubt we will see a $50 option from Apple because like you said, they aren't using your data to offset the low entry price.
     
    ldatlof likes this.
  10. willyrover

    willyrover Super Member

    Messages:
    3,124
    Location:
    Hamilton

    My point exactly. The Google/Amazon products and the Apple HomePod, while there are definitely similarities, were not designed to compete directly with each other. (If Apple has made this claim in their marketing, feel free to prove me wrong.) For now, anyway, they serve different purposes and one can own and use both if they wish.

    By the way, I don't own any of them - yet.
     
    uofmtiger likes this.
  11. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I agree.

    As I have mentioned before, the cost for digital assistants starts as a toss in on phones and tablets, and for a stand alone device, it can be priced at $30 or less (I practically got a Google Mini for free, which is why I have one). Decent speakers have more value than an assistant. Everyone knows that, which is why Google makes the Max at $399 and a $40 Mini. The speaker is where most of the value is, which means that people that want them for music will probably pass on the tinny, shrill sound of the Dot and Mini if they are using them as a stand alone device. At least the Dot has analog out, so it can be plugged into a lot of different devices, but even that means you need to own a device it can plug into or buy one that has acceptable sound. The Mini can control Google Casting devices, but then you have to buy a device and a setup to plug it into.

    I believe Apple concentrated on hardware first because they can always make a software update down the road. I think it is meant to be a music playing device first, but the homekit and alarms are great. I had an alarm set in my kitchen and I was in my bedroom when it went off. I yelled Hey Siri turn of alarm and it went off. It is harder to get Alexa to turn off in an adjoining bath room.
     

     

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  12. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    I finally heard one at the local B.B. Sounds great for its size, but no discernible stereo image. A pair of Sonos Ones, at the same price as a single HomePod, are a much better choice for most people, IMO, sounding every bit as good, and with fantastic imaging.

    Looks like stereo pairing and multiroom are here on the HomePod with today’s software update.
     
    awillia6 likes this.
  13. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    1,326
    Thanks for the news, time to look into just what Apple's got there.
     
  14. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    The HomePod is aimed at people that want to control Apple Music. For me, it would never replace my main system and I wouldn't be able to use Sonos for that because I like the HDMI switching features, Audyssey for movies, etc. Personally, I would have a hard time recommending either for someone that wants them for more than casual music.

    That being said, I use my HomePod more than any speaker in the house. We love sitting around at dinner or after dinner and just telling it to play stuff. It was worth every penny for my needs...which is mainly Apple Music because of its integration with Siri and CarPlay. Also, it sounds damn good from anywhere. Since it is in a central location and I use it in multiple rooms, stereo imaging would be lost for most of the places I am listening to it. The 360 sound has a lot of advantages.

    I do think Sonos has a nice product now that it has Alexa features. I just think it fits a different use case.
     
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  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    One thing I just tried was the feature I wasn’t sure would be available. My AppleTV is called “Den” and I just asked Siri to “play Liquid Spirit special addition in Den”. It works great. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to use it to control what is playing on main system. Very happy. Still have some testing to do, but this was the most important feature. I know Chromecast Audio is cheaper and does something similar, but this works with Apple Music which is why I prefer it...not to mention how it works great as a 360 speaker.
     
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  16. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,146
    Location:
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    Well, Samsung finally showed theirs. Looks like a Weber grill. No way is this ugly thing going to be in my house.

    [​IMG]
     

     

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  17. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Wow! That is ugly.


    Loving my HomePod more every day. The ability to send music to my AppleTVs ( version 4) and my Airport Express (2012), just opens up more avenues to Siri control for music. I am still surprised they updated the discontinued Airport Express, but I will take it!
     
    awillia6 likes this.
  18. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

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    942
    I detect an attempt to mimic B&O...
     
  19. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Location:
    Memphis
    I can definitely see that with the legs, but this looks stubbier and much less elegant. Of course, they may have went with the legs because the HomePod has an issue where it leaves a mark on some wood surfaces.
     
  20. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    942
    I did say an attempt...

    ;-)
     

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